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"This has been a life-changing experience" - Pat Hickey responds to ticketing charges

On Friday night Hickey, who has temporarily stepped aside as President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, was charged with criminal organisation, ticket touting, ambush marketing, larceny, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Pat Hickey.
Pat Hickey.

PAT HICKEY HAS said he intends to fight all of the charges laid against him by a court in Rio de Janeiro in relation to touting Olympic tickets.

On Friday night Hickey, who has “temporarily” stepped aside as President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, was charged by Judge Juliana Leal de Melo from the Special Court for Supporters and Large Events.

Nine others, including Irishman Kevin Mallon from THG Sports, also face charges including criminal organisation, ticket touting, ambush marketing, larceny, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Also charged with Hickey and Mallon are co-defendants Michael Glynn, Ken Murray, Eamonn Collins, Maarten Van Os, David Patrick Gilmore, Martin Studd, and Barbara Zancope Carnieri.

The judge ordered that the passports of Hickey and Mallon be retained, and both be impeded from leaving Brazil, for the foreseeable future.

Hickey Hickey with former Sports Minister John O'Donoghue in 2004. Source: Rollingnews.ie

One and a half years

It is expected that it could be around one and a half years before a court case in Rio de Janeiro reaches fruition. Sources have suggested that the passports of the two Irish men could be returned in this interim, but any such decision rests with the Brazilian judiciary.

In a statement this evening released through his PR firm, Paul Allen and Associates, Hickey said: “I have just received formal notification from the Brazilian authorities of the charges laid against me.”

He added:

I intend to face all the charges and to fight each and every one of them.

“I am completely innocent of all such charges and I will also vigorously defend my good name and character that I have spent my lifetime building through voluntary service for numerous sporting bodies.”

Hickey added that he “believe in the Brazilian judicial system” and is confident of being “discharged of all accusations”.

“This has been a life changing experience for me, my wife, my four children and my five grandchildren and my priority is to recover my health and see my family as soon as possible.

“I have been very heartened and humbled by the outpouring of support, letters, texts and emails from the thousands of people in Ireland and from the international sporting world.”

Comments have been disabled for legal reasons.

Read: Rio police publish emails between Pat Hickey and THG discussing sale of Ireland’s Olympics tickets

Read: Judge accepts six charges against Pat Hickey and Kevin Mallon in Rio

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